Chandler chamber head to step down - East Valley Tribune: News

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Chandler chamber head to step down

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Posted: Monday, February 4, 2008 12:29 am

Chandler's Chamber of Commerce is losing its president and CEO. Becky Jackson will leave her post in March after five years of leading the city's nonprofit economic booster group.

Jackson has accepted a position as executive director of the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The chamber's board chairwoman, Roz Santangelo, and an executive committee will head the search for Jackson's replacement.

The search will include national and local candidates.

Jackson said one of the reasons she accepted the position with the diabetes foundation is that children's issues and juvenile diabetes are topics that are dear to her, as she's had friends who have been afflicted with the disease.

"Being able to be part of an organization that finds a cure in my lifetime would be wonderful," she said.

During Jackson's tenure, the chamber saw its membership rolls swell to 1,400 people from 786.

The chamber also increased its staff in that time from eight to 14 workers.

Kathy Langdon, a founding member of the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance - a lobbying organization representing individual chambers - said she was surprised to hear of Jackson's departure, adding that Jackson was instrumental in the chamber's development.

Under Jackson's leadership, the priorities of the chamber have shifted somewhat, she said.

One of those priorities was to place greater emphasis on fundraising, Langdon said.

"That was quite a benefit for the chamber when she came on board."

Langdon said Jackson was also vital in nudging the chamber to become more politically active on business issues by ramping up its lobbying efforts and increasing public policy awareness and outreach for businesses.

With a background in banking, Jackson said she's proud of the way she's been able to help amplify the local business community's voice in local, state and national public policy.

"What I've tried to do is help the business community know more about how they can effect change in our community," she said.

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